Thomas Holme's Survey Map (1687)

Moyamensing is an area of Phildelphia established as a Moyamensing Township during British colonial rule on the fast land of the Neck, lying between Passyunk and Wicaco.[1] It was incorporated into Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania and today encompasses several neighborhoods along the Moyamensing Avenue corridor in the South Philadelphia section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.[2]


Historical population
Census Pop.

Originally Lenape Nation land, the tract was granted by the Dutch West India Company Lieutenant Alexander d'Hinoyossa, Vice-Director of New Amstel to Marten Roseman (aka Marten Cleinsmit), William Stille and Lawrence Andries.[3] In 1684, when the land was turned over from the Dutch to the English, the title was given by William Penn to William Stille, Lassey Andrews, Andrew Bankson and John Matson.[4]

Moyamensing Township included this ground and Wicaco, except such parts of the latter as were included in Southwark. Its northern boundary was South Street and below the existing parts of Southwark; its eastern boundary was the Delaware River, and its western boundary was Schuylkill Sixth (Seventeenth Street). [5]

In 1816 the greatest length of Moyamensing was estimated to be 3 miles; the greatest breadth, 2 miles; area, 2,560 acres (10 km²). By act of March 24, 1812, the inhabitants of Moyamensing were incorporated by the style of "the commissioners and inhabitants of the township of Moyamensing" and they even had their own police force.[6] By act of April 4, 1831, the township was divided into East and West Moyamensing. The township was one of the earliest created after the settlement of Pennsylvania, and became part of Philadelphia in 1854.[7]

The Moyamensing Prison was built between 1822-1835 at Reed and 10th Streets. A portion of it also housed a Debtors' prison. The structure was demolished in 1967.[8]


  1. ^ Where Pennsylvania History Began (by Henry D. Paxon, The Swedish Colonial Society, 1926)
  2. ^ Moyamensing (Philadelphia History)
  3. ^ The Stille Family in America 1641–1772 (by Peter Stebbins Craig. Swedish American Genealogist - Vol. 6 No. 4 Dec 1986)
  4. ^ The Pennsylvania State Archives (Minutes of the Board of Property of the Province of Pennsylvania.Page: 354 Series 2, Volume: XIX)
  5. ^ Chronology of the Political Subdivisions of the County of Philadelphia, 1683-1854 (Daly, John; Weinberg, Allen (October 1966). Genealogy of Philadelphia County Subdivisions (Second ed.). Philadelphia Dept. of Records.)
  6. ^ "Moyamensing Township Police Department, PA".
  7. ^ Incorporated District, Boroughs, and Townships in the County of Philadelphia, 1854
  8. ^ Raymond Biswanger collection at the University of Pennsylvania

Other sources

  • Walther, Rudolph J. Happenings in Ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900 (Philadelphia, PA: Walther Printing House, 1925)
  • Craig, Peter Stebbins Olof Persson Stille and his Family (Philadelphia, PA: Swedish Colonial News. Volume 1, Number 16. Fall 1997)

External links